My grandmother Helen sent her cello out to me this summer, and I've been anxiously awaiting a chance to start learning how to play it... last night was my first lesson! I'm starting with a group class, and it will be a great group - everyone comes from a different background, they are all eager to learn, and the teacher is really good at organizing everyone. We learned how to hold, transport, and tune our cellos last night, as well as how to hold the bow and a few basics about reading the bass clef. Our teacher commented that I have a "nice warm" voice, and I felt very special. :) My homework is to practice feeling my arms being heavy.
On my way back to the car after my lesson I passed a group of people discussing f-stops. It was a beginning photography class... ah, those were the days. Isn't it remarkable that we humans can learn so many things, and that we're capable of - once we learn technique - expressing ourselves through those skills. I hope I'm able to express myself with the cello some day.
PS - As for the Baroque A... did you know that our notion of the musical scale is going UP? In the Baroque era the note A was almost a full tone lower than what we call an A today! In the 1930s people were concerned that the standard A was creeping up the scale, going higher and higher, so a conference was held and it was agreed that A should have a universal standard of 440 hz. Even so, A is still creeping up, and the Boston Symphony's A is 442hz! Who knew!